Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I'm Still Here

Good evening everyone.  Ten days after I last posted here, I started the job that I currently hold, and with the onset of football season, and learning my new job, and continuing to play poker, this blog was obviously put on the back burner (the cold, I haven't written here for ten months back burner).  I do intend to start writing more frequently in all of my blogs once again, so I thought I'd stop by to say hello, especially since I see that random traffic has continued to click on my little blog here from time to time.

I'm still living in Las Vegas, and I play poker after work on a regular basis.  I'm usually at my job til 11:00 p.m. or later on the weekends, which is an ideal time to head to the poker tables.  I've only been over at the Rio once this summer for the World Series of Poker, but there's still almost a whole month of WSOP left to go.  The majority of the time I find myself playing at the Flamingo, as I have the option of playing in a low-key 2-4 limit game, or sitting at a more serious 1/2 no-limit table.  I have qualified for and cashed in several weekly freeroll tournies at the Flamingo by sitting in games there.  In the near future, I intend to come back here and catch you up on some of my poker playing over the past year.  I also write three other blogs, which are listed at the top of this page.  Feel free to stop by and visit them while you're waiting for another entry here.  Have a great week and I'll see you soon!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Professional Roulette?

Good evening everyone.  If you've already read my first blog entry of the day here, you know that my plans went awry.  Instead of producing four posts in rapid succession like a champ, I was sidetracked by my first snack and some women's soccer action, and that combo led to an unplanned nap.  I'm happy to say that I'm awake once again, and with the celebrity fantasy draft that's being aired on ESPN as my current distraction, I'm typing once again.  I still plan on typing two more entries after this one at my third and fourth blogs.  'Coach's Parlay Card' chronicles the favorite weekly football bets of my friend Joey, my brother Pete, and myself, while 'Coach Goes Viral' is my "rant blog."  I also wanted to give you the link to my friend's new etsy shop before we get to the poker (and roulette).  My friend Sean is selling paracord bracelets and wood crafts online at this address.

I had a frustrating weekend at the poker tables.  Well, half of the frustration was in not being at the tables...  On Friday I opened with the Flamingo's weekly freeroll tourney.  I promptly ran my pocket jacks into pocket aces like a pro, and I was toast.  The guy with AA had been seeing several flops at my table, and he raised his aces to only 2 1/2 times the big blind.  I thought that I'd be able to push him off his hand by shoving.  GREAT read...  The rest of Friday wasn't that bad, as I played a ton of poker and qualified for this Friday's Flamingo freeroll.  Twelve hours of weekly play needed, and I did it in one day.  Saturday.  Ugghh...  I ventured to the south end of the Strip and the MGM.  There were only a handful of games with a bunch of locals, so I trekked across the Strip to the Excalibur.  The Excalibur had a pair of 1/2 NL games and a 2-6 spread-limit table.  I got on both lists and a new 1/2 game started pretty quiickly.  We started seven-handed, and shortly afterward, the floorperson came and pulled one of our players, saying that we were a "must move" game for the first hour.  Ugghh.  This is stupid, and I forgot that the Excalibur does this.  Instead of being like any other room in Las Vegas, and having tables of 10, 9, and 7 players after that player at the "main table" had left, the numbers were 10, 10, and 6.  Predictably (lol), one of our players busted shortly afterward, and now my table was down to five.  Although he was going to return, I was sufficiently frustrated, and decided to get back on the 2-6 list.  Oh yeah, shortly after the no-limit game began, I was called for the 2-6 seat and declined it.  Brilliant...  So when I put my name back on the list, I told the floor, "I didn't know that you were going to start a game seven-handed, and then take players from it..."  So I'm sitting there stewing, biding my time, as I'm third on the 2-6 list.  A player sits, and I'm second.  Then this lady comes to the podium from the sportsbook area, and I'm suddenly third on the list again.  I believe that the floor had initially neglected to put her on the list when she was first in the room (I had seen her at the podium while playing 1/2).  Time passes, with her and the next person on the list getting seated at the 2-6 table.  I guess that at some point, they decided to stop moving players from my old game, because the two original games got so shorthanded that they busted up my initial table completely.  Good times...  I finally got sick of waiting for a seat in the 2-6 spread-limit, so I cashed in my chips from the 1/2 ($3.00 loss) and went to the restroom before leaving.  As I passed back by the poker room, I saw the new 2-6 spread-limit game that had been started, with five players.  More good times...  I figured that this would be a "must move" table also, and forget that...  I returned to the MGM, already frustrated, and while waiting at the podium, the clerk with her back to me was having a conversation with a floorperson who was facing me.  He was telling her to pick even or odd...  Whatever they were discussing was evidently very interesting, because they weren't acknowledging me.  I rolled my eyes, turned, and walked away.  As I departed, I heard a desperate, "Can I help you?"  A second floorperson was behind the podium, and he probably witnessed my eyeroll before I pivoted and paced away, but I was done with MGM properties for the night.  At least charging for parking is the cherry on top of their overall customer service experience...

So back to the Flamingo I went, yet again.  I figured that I'd at least tack on some more tier points, and just get to SIT AT A POKER TABLE...  Have I mentioned that I should be able to attain 'Diamond Status' with Caesar's simply by playing poker?  More on that at a later date.  The Flamingo's game was unsatisfying, short-lived (by my standards), and I eventually noticed that I was at a table with a pregnant lady who was taking CIGARETTE BREAKS.  STELLAR night...

Now before the poker boom began (Moneymaker, 'Rounders'), roulette was my favorite way to donate to Las Vegas.  My poker session had been so "bleh" that I had thought about playing roulette, despite the $10.00 minimum bets.  While I pondered a pregnant woman smoking in the year 2016 (should I really be surprised?), I devised a "system?" to protect me while playing roulette.  I figured that I'd split all ten bucks on a pair of numbers, giving me 20 of the 38 on the board.  When I started playing, I even began taking four numbers for a buck, in combination with the splits.  Long story short, I played roulette for a LONG TIME...  Due to the night's frustrations, I began drinking Coronas (I don't drink when I play poker - maybe I should start?), and I got into one of those grooves when I'm just FOCUSED and fight through the need for sleep.  This resulted in me playing roulette from 4:00 a.m. until... 1:00 P.M.  NINE HOURS of roulette Sunday, and I made $10.00...  True story...  The pit bosses kept walking by at intervals to look at my chips, as if to say, "HOW has this guy not busted out?"  I only bought in for a single $100.00 bill, and my stack would just fluctuate up and down, having so much of the board covered that I'd endure a $1.00 net loss if one of my chips covering four numbers hit, or I'd get a small win ($8.00 net) if one of my splits came in.  Sometimes I'd lose my whole $10.00, but I also did bet and hit some single numbers later, and I just played, and played, and played...  If you've ever watched or played roulette, you know that the players just come and go, and I saw all sorts of people.  One guy stopped at my table, bet $700.00 on black, won, and walked away.  A guy at the table across from me had like $4,000.00 in front of him, at least, when he was brought to my attention.  Four stacks of green ($25.00 chips), some black piled up.  I believe that he eventually lost it all back.  Anyway, professional roulette???  :)

That's all for this time, but hopefully the actual poker will go better this weekend.  Have a great week and I'll see you soon!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Genesis

Good morning everyone.  I'd like to tell you some fascinating and involved story related to the title of this post, like how this is hopefully the start to a long and successful career of playing poker for me, but I just watched a documentary about the band 'Genesis,' and I was stuck for a title here, so there ya go...  :)  I played only two days of poker this weekend, which was just enough to get sucked-out on again (and by the same player) in the Flamingo's weekly freeroll tourney (I didn't cash), and then I made a little money and qualified for this Friday's weekly tourney.  The poker is still predictably slow in town, with too many familiar faces at the tables, and I'm looking forward to next month.  In case you're new to my world, September will bring cooler temperatures, football, and better poker action.  If you actually are new to my world, the blog that chronicles my personal life in a more general sense can be found here.

Poker...  As I was playing in the Flamingo's freeroll, I started to hear a buzz about the poker room at the Linq.  The Linq's room is now officially closed, but only after giving away all of its promotional money that had been saved up.  The room was holding drawings every hour on Friday and Saturday to give away the cash before the room officially closed.  Having your name drawn was worth $500.00, but you had to be seated in a game to win.  The lists for the four 1/1 no-limit games and the lone 3-6 limit game were over 30 names each when I arrived, and I heard that in the first four hours, only two new players had been seated in the games.  I was offered a spot on the list, but politely declined, knowing that it would be futile.  I really walked over just to see the spectacle, and was rewarded by having the opportunity to meet Kristi, an online friend (til that moment) who deals poker and plays in town.

This is going to be a short entry from me today, and I don't have a huge selection of hands to relay to you, but I will talk a little about my style of play.  However, I did want to pass along a little cynical prediction that I have for you before doing so.  I was at home yesterday when the NFL's Hall of Fame Game was canceled due to poor field conditions (giving the term "a bad paint job" a whole new meaning)...  Anyway, I was glad that I wasn't at the poker tables when this happened, because I surmised that some player would be talking about how stupid this was on the NFL's part, and it would be the same genius that was trying to chase down a runner-runner flush with 6-2 suited on an A K J rainbow flop...  Too cynical???  Anyway, my style of play.  I'm currently playing very tight right now, which allows me to protect my chips while affording me the opportunity to see a lot of hands.  As time goes by and other players get to know me, I should be able to loosen up gradually and have a decent amount of respect.  However, you would be surprised at the number of calls I get (talking in limit more specifically right now, because that's what I played for the majority of the weekend) when I raise.  It's like the other players know that they're behind, but are thinking, "I'm gonna crack your hand #&@*%#$..."  :)  Anyway, it's a very interesting game, and I'm learning more every minute...

Hopefully when I get back to you next week, I'll have some good news for you from the freeroll front.  Have a great week and I'll see you soon!  

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Dead Zone

Good morning everyone.  As I prepared to write this post for y'all, I realized that there's only one more month at the most that you'll being seeing Sunday entries from me until February.  If I'm not watching football and playing poker on Sundays a month from now, I'll be dead exhausted and sleeping...  From the end of the World Series of Poker until the start of the aforementioned football season, it's more difficult to find good poker games in town, thus the "Dead Zone" reference.  As it happens, I still have some chores here to tend to, and some football studying to get done, so I'll most likely cut back on the poker a bit this month, in hopes of finding better games in the fall.  I will be studying my poker materials some more in the next month also.  Of everything that I've written for you since my latest poker journey began just over two months ago, I strongly believe that game selection is the key component to making money at the tables.  Would you rather play against nine locals who play poker for a living, or would you rather sit with a bunch of drinking and sleep-deprived tourists who are in town for any number of reasons?  There are no guarantees, but I'd rather not face off against the table full of professionals...

I'm coming off of my first losing week at the tables since the initial week that I played after returning to town, but I have a handle on the improvements that I have to make.  Having the best hand hold up would be nice, but I hit hands a few times over the weekend also.  I didn't cash in this week's Flamingo freeroll tourney, and this is what happened...  I was card dead throughout, and my 3,000 starting stack dwindled to 1,100.  I was in the big blind for 800 of that, and ended up getting it all in with KK.  My opponents had QQ and A3, ace on the turn.  Seems a lot like the previous week's freeroll for me, except that I finished 50th of 76 this time, and I didn't make the money.  Last night however, I had three very fortunate hands, or my week would have been much worse.  It's 1/2 no-limit at Bally's, and I have about 62 left when I call a raise to 8 with the KJ of diamonds.  First to act, and not having seen the flop, I check the K 5 3 flop with two diamonds.  Next to act bets 10, gets called, and then I jam my remaining stack.  I'll take two folds, and if I'm behind, I'll probably have outs.  The bettor calls me with 5 3, and the other player folds.  Her two-pair holds on the turn, but a beautiful diamond hits the river.  :D  Now I'm playing 1/2 no-limit at the Flamingo, and I limp with AQ and about 80 in my stack.  Three of us see an A J 10 flop.  Villain bets 10, and I call.  The two of us see another 10 on the turn.  Villain bets 10, and I call again.  Villain checks a 3rd 10 on the river, and I bet out 20.  Villain calls and tables AK.  I'm more than happy to point out to the dealer that "we have the same hand" (10's full of aces).  Not too long after seeing the fortunate river (my second of the night), I decide that I should switch to 2-4 limit for the rest of the evening.  :P  Now after a horrible Friday night (the type where you swear, "I'm never playing limit again), I had a better session last night, and it all came in one hand.  Playing very tight, I called with KQ offsuit preflop, and called the raise to four from the button.  In a pretty loose game, I looked down to see the rainbow 9 10 J flop.  Ho hum...  I think there were six of us in the hand, and I flat-called the preflop action, which was five of us putting four bucks in.  The turn was a blank, and I flat-called twelve (the bet and two raises before the action reached me).  As I said, I had been playing tight, and I believe that some of the raising was done with the intent of forcing me off of my hand.  The fact that the player who raised to eight FOLDED as opposed to calling another bet seemed to reinforce that.  The river was another beautiful blank, and now heads-up, my opponent bet four, and just groaned when I raised to eight.  The loose-aggro called, and he actually had a hand this time, tabling queen-eight suited for a lower straight, but he already knew what I had.  It was nice to get some of my money back last night...  ;)

Speaking of lower straights, I've seen this happen more than once since I've returned to town, and not just in limit games.  The board will run out 7 K 8 6 4, and the river will get bet or called by a 5, with the proud straight-holder not even seeing the possibility of the 9 10.  And I'm not saying, "my five might be good," but I'm saying totally blind to the possibility of the higher straight.  Even 9 5 would work, but you get what I'm saying.  You've gotta love poker...  :)  Some others things that I've seen since returning to town, and this weekend even...  I'm going to withhold the names of the rooms involved in these cases, to protect the guilty.  For the first time since I returned to Vegas back in May, I sat by someone who smelled so bad that I almost had to leave the game.  The offending player wasn't around long enough for me to worry about it though.  Last night I did leave a game though, and only after playing two hands at a table with a drunk guy who sat to my left AND had NONSTOP hiccups.  It was so bad that I left after playing my button, foregoing seeing several "free" hands.  I've often told others that if another player at the table is bothering you (for a variety of reasons), just leave the game.  Having that stuff in your head is not profitable...  When I arrived at a different table over the weekend, a seated drunk guy in that game was SHOVED by a player who was leaving the table.  I hadn't even sat when this happened.  Evidently the drunk player had shoved the departing player first (earlier).  You've gotta love poker...

Now a paragraph for my brother Pete.  This includes another story from the weekend, and yet another instance where I was pretty lucky with ace-queen.  Maybe AQ is a potentially evil hand.  All the books say so.  Anyway, my brother (who introduced me to this crazy game) follows a video blog on Twitter done by a dealer at the Linq who is known as "The Trooper."  I have never seen the VB because I'd rather read blogs, but I'm sure that it's good, as he has quite a following, and I've heard several people mention him.  Pete has never been dealt to by The Trooper, but I was in a 1/1 no-limit game over the weekend.  I shoved AQ preflop, and the flop came K J 10...  My opponent said that he had been ahead, but he never showed.  Thanks Trooper...  :D  By the way, I didn't formally introduce myself to The Trooper, so if you know him, you can say thanks for me.

I also have something for my friend Nick.  This was an "inside joke" that I had forgotten about when I arrvied at a table last week, but feel free to use the line.  The next time that someone says "you look familiar" to you, immediately fire back with, "Oh, you watch porn?!"  Yeah, that table was having a lot of fun when I arrived...  :)  Nick had recently made a comment on my blog that triggered that story in my memory bank...

Before I close, I also wanted to remind you that you can view the blog that deals more in-depth with my personal life by clicking here.  I'm going to do a new entry there, right after I finish this post.  Speaking of my personal life, one of my friends and former athletes recently posted an inspirational meme that I have since pilfered for my Facebook and Twitter profile photos...


Great words.  Thanks again Leanne...  :)  I hope that all of you have a great week and I'll see you soon!


The Dead Zone

Good morning everyone.  As I prepared to write this post for y'all, I realized that there's only one more month at the most that you'll being seeing Sunday entries from me until February.  If I'm not watching football and playing poker on Sundays a month from now, I'll be dead exhausted and sleeping...  From the end of the World Series of Poker until the start of the aforementioned football season, it's more difficult to find good poker games in town, thus the "Dead Zone" reference.  As it happens, I still have some chores here to tend to, and some football studying to get done, so I'll most likely cut back on the poker a bit this month, in hopes of finding better games in the fall.  I will be studying my poker materials some more in the next month also.  Of everything that I've written for you since my latest poker journey began just over two months ago, I strongly believe that game selection is the key component to making money at the tables.  Would you rather play against nine locals who play poker for a living, or would you rather sit with a bunch of drinking and sleep-deprived tourists who are in town for any number of reasons?  There are no guarantees, but I'd rather not face off against the table full of professionals...

I'm coming off of my first losing week at the tables since the initial week that I played after returning to town, but I have a handle on the improvements that I have to make.  Having the best hand hold up would be nice, but I hit hands a few times over the weekend also.  I didn't cash in this week's Flamingo freeroll tourney, and this is what happened...  I was card dead throughout, and my 3,000 starting stack dwindled to 1,100.  I was in the big blind for 800 of that, and ended up getting it all in with KK.  My opponents had QQ and A3, ace on the turn.  Seems a lot like the previous week's freeroll for me, except that I finished 50th of 76 this time, and I didn't make the money.  Last night however, I had three very fortunate hands, or my week would have been much worse.  It's 1/2 no-limit at Bally's, and I have about 62 left when I call a raise to 8 with the KJ of diamonds.  First to act, and not having seen the flop, I check the K 5 3 flop with two diamonds.  Next to act bets 10, gets called, and then I jam my remaining stack.  I'll take two folds, and if I'm behind, I'll probably have outs.  The bettor calls me with 5 3, and the other player folds.  Her two-pair holds on the turn, but a beautiful diamond hits the river.  :D  Now I'm playing 1/2 no-limit at the Flamingo, and I limp with AQ and about 80 in my stack.  Three of us see an A J 10 flop.  Villain bets 10, and I call.  The two of us see another 10 on the turn.  Villain bets 10, and I call again.  Villain checks a 3rd 10 on the river, and I bet out 20.  Villain calls and tables AK.  I'm more than happy to point out to the dealer that "we have the same hand" (10's full of aces).  Not too long after seeing the fortunate river (my second of the night), I decide that I should switch to 2-4 limit for the rest of the evening.  :P  Now after a horrible Friday night (the type where you swear, "I'm never playing limit again), I had a better session last night, and it all came in one hand.  Playing very tight, I called with KQ offsuit preflop, and called the raise to four from the button.  In a pretty loose game, I looked down to see the rainbow 9 10 J flop.  Ho hum...  I think there were six of us in the hand, and I flat-called the preflop action, which was five of us putting four bucks in.  The turn was a blank, and I flat-called twelve (the bet and two raises before the action reached me).  As I said, I had been playing tight, and I believe that some of the raising was done with the intent of forcing me off of my hand.  The fact that the player who raised to eight FOLDED as opposed to calling another bet seemed to reinforce that.  The river was another beautiful blank, and now heads-up, my opponent bet four, and just groaned when I raised to eight.  The loose-aggro called, and he actually had a hand this time, tabling queen-eight suited for a lower straight, but he already knew what I had.  It was nice to get some of my money back last night...  ;)

Speaking of lower straights, I've seen this happen more than once since I've returned to town, and not just in limit games.  The board will run out 7 K 8 6 4, and the river will get bet or called by a 5, with the proud straight-holder not even seeing the possibility of the 9 10.  And I'm not saying, "my five might be good," but I'm saying totally blind to the possibility of the higher straight.  Even 9 5 would work, but you get what I'm saying.  You've gotta love poker...  :)  Some others things that I've seen since returning to town, and this weekend even...  I'm going to withhold the names of the rooms involved in these cases, to protect the guilty.  For the first time since I returned to Vegas back in May, I sat by someone who smelled so bad that I almost had to leave the game.  The offending player wasn't around long enough for me to worry about it though.  Last night I did leave a game though, and only after playing two hands at a table with a drunk guy who sat to my left AND had NONSTOP hiccups.  It was so bad that I left after playing my button, foregoing seeing several "free" hands.  I've often told others that if another player at the table is bothering you (for a variety of reasons), just leave the game.  Having that stuff in your head is not profitable...  When I arrived at a different table over the weekend, a seated drunk guy in that game was SHOVED by a player who was leaving the table.  I hadn't even sat when this happened.  Evidently the drunk player had shoved the departing player first (earlier).  You've gotta love poker...

Now a paragraph for my brother Pete.  This includes another story from the weekend, and yet another instance where I was pretty lucky with ace-queen.  Maybe AQ is a potentially evil hand.  All the books say so.  Anyway, my brother (who introduced me to this crazy game) follows a video blog on Twitter done by a dealer at the Linq who is known as "The Trooper."  I have never seen the VB because I'd rather read blogs, but I'm sure that it's good, as he has quite a following, and I've heard several people mention him.  Pete has never been dealt to by The Trooper, but I was in a 1/1 no-limit game over the weekend.  I shoved AQ preflop, and the flop came K J 10...  My opponent said that he had been ahead, but he never showed.  Thanks Trooper...  :D  By the way, I didn't formally introduce myself to The Trooper, so if you know him, you can say thanks for me.

I also have something for my friend Nick.  This was an "inside joke" that I had forgotten about when I arrvied at a table last week, but feel free to use the line.  The next time that someone says "you look familiar" to you, immediately fire back with, "Oh, you watch porn?!"  Yeah, that table was having a lot of fun when I arrived...  :)  Nick had recently made a comment on my blog that triggered that story in my memory bank...

Before I close, I also wanted to remind you that you can view the blog that deals more in-depth with my personal life by clicking here.  I'm going to do a new entry there, right after I finish this post.  Speaking of my personal life, one of my friends and former athletes recently posted an inspirational meme that I have since pilfered for my Facebook and Twitter profile photos...


Great words.  Thanks again Leanne...  :)  I hope that all of you have a great week and I'll see you soon!


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Aces On The River

Good evening everyone.  I had my first two losing days of the month this week, and it was so unusual that I actually thought that I lost for the week until I just looked back at my records.  Two sick aces on the river cost me $200.00 (and potentially $300.00).  In the Flamingo's weekly freeroll tournament on Friday, I cashed for $100.00.  I finished in 22nd place out of 78 players, and was two spots from earning another $100.00.  I was under the gun with a stack of 6,000 and the blinds at 2,000/4,000.  I picked up king-queen and thought that it would likely be better than the random two hands that I'd be dealt in the blinds, so I shoved.  A guy with ace-three went all-in after me, and we saw a king-high flop, and a three-out ace on the river...  If I win that pot, I'd definitely make the top twenty for an extra $100.00, and possibly go on to make the top 10 for another $100.00.  The other ugly ace on the river came last night in a 1/2 cash game at the Flamingo.  I lost about $50.00 on this hand, and could have easily lost more.  I was in the big blind with 9 8, and the two-heart flop came 8 9 8.  The small blind bet 12, I called, and everyone else folded.  The villain bet another 12 when a non-heart jack hit the turn, and I again called.  The river brought the ace of hearts, and the villain checked.  I assumed the villain put me on the flush draw or an ace, and I "value bet" 25.  I had great success with value bets at this table, and was up about $200.00 before this hand began.  The villain called, and I turned my hand over, saying, "I flopped the full house."  The villain then flipped over A 8, for a rivered full house.  Oh joy...  I hated losing the hand, but I was shocked that he didn't raise me.  It's not going to be easy for me to lay down there.  I'm also glad that I played the hand slow, because I don't think he's going anywhere after flopping three 8's with an ace kicker.  Regardless, this session allowed me to recoup most of the money that I lost in a Caesar's 1/2 game earlier last night.  Going into the Caesar's session with my  brother Pete, I had mentioned that despite winning in no-limit cash games, I hadn't been making any sets with my pocket pairs.  Low and behold, I have 61 in my stack when I see an unraised flop from the big blind with 2 2.  The flop comes K 2 8.  After a bet of 20 and a call, I move my final 59 in.  Both players call.  The turn and river seem inconsequential, and when it's time to show, the initial bettor shows pocket kings.  Low and behold...  The awesome part was seeing the guy work his stack up to 800 with very fishy plays and suckouts, then proceeding to rack up and leave before I was able to catch him in a hand or two.  Yippee...

Let's move on to news where I don't get mortally crushed in hands...  Before reaching the final thirty in the Flamingo freeroll, I folded ace-queen with my short stack, and had I shoved, I would have lost to pocket kings.  Nice fold to make $100.00...  After the freeroll, I played my first 3-6 limit at the Monte Carlo since returning to town, and I made almost another $100.00 there.  The freeroll started at 10:00 a.m., and now it's about 6:00 p.m. and I'm starving, having only eaten an energy bar all day long since waking up before 7:00 a.m.  Up almost two hundred for the day, I decided to treat myself with some of my poker comps...


Just a little snack from the Paris buffet.  My friend Nick had actually eaten at the Paris buffet earlier in the week, and his assessment was dead on.  Although it's not bad, there's actually not a lot to choose from when compared to some of the other buffets that I've eaten at.  That being said, I made due with the prime rib, and the crab, and the shrimp.  I'm a trooper...  ;)  Speaking of Nick, he was in town with his wife and a few friends, and I got to meet him and watch him play a little poker.


I was a bit skeptical of Nick's plan at first, and it had nothing to do with his poker-playing ability.  Nick arrived in town very late Sunday night/early Monday morning, and this was presumably after being awake all day Sunday.  He then proceeded to get three hours of sleep his first two nights in town, followed by five hours before waking up Wednesday, the day of the tournament.  The tourney didn't begin until 2:00 p.m., and I thought Nick might just crash right on the table.  Nick had told me that three hours of sleep per night was his norm in Vegas, but to his credit, he didn't look like a zombie when he showed up at the Venetian.  The $400.00 no-limit bounty tourney paid $100.00 bounties to a player each time that they could eliminate another player from the tournament.  The tourney ended up with 145 entrants, and Nick's start was a reminder that you don't have to sprint out of the gate to start a tournament.  After starting with 12,000 in chips, Nick dipped down to about 5,000 before getting hands to play and actually connecting with them.  Over the course of the tourney, Nick managed to knock out four players (making this his own personal freeroll), and he finished 31st, with the top 15 making the cash.  An untimely table change brought about his demise, as Nick was repeatedly was dealt second-best hands shortly after arriving.  I enjoyed railing Nick during the tourney, despite the fact that he decided to curse my football team before leaving town.  Nick told me that if the Steelers didn't do well this season, it shouldn't come as a surprise, because that was one team that he bet on to win the Super Bowl.  Nick hadn't even been back home for a full day yet when it was announced that star running back Le'Veon Bell would be suspended for the first four games of the season.  Damn you Nick!!!  ;)

*** Sorry about that 4-hour break that I just took that you were completely unaware of.  I took a nap.  Funny thing is, when I woke up around noon, I considered going to the Strip and playing poker, but instead I decided to write this entry.  I hit the wall HARD at 4:00 p.m.  Glad that I wasn't on the Strip...  :)  My nap gave Nick time to finish his blog post about the tournament that I just wrote about.  You can find his write-up at the link given above for him.  Also, back to my Paris buffet, I meant to say something that will resonate with two groups particularly - that would include those who have been longtime followers of my original blog, and also my Facebook friends.  'Bikini Hill & The Strip' is the blog that you will find at that link, and I've been writing there for almost five years now.  You can get to know me better there, as that blog is a hodgepog of stuff about my personal life.  Anyway, have you ever noticed that I never post pictures of food that I've prepared?  If you see a photo of food from me, it's always something that someone else has cooked up...  :)  Just sitting here thinking how that Rio breakfast buffet and that Paris dinner have eaten into my comps...  ;)

Let's talk about angleshooting for a minute.  I have now seen something occur twice in my last two weeks of playing.  About two weeks back in a 1/2 no-limit game, a guy threw in about 17 from his stack for a raise, and then fidgeted, saying that he didn't mean to raise that much.  I remembered this as the hand played out and he eventually ended up tabling A A and winning the pot.  I don't know if any of the other players remember this preflop "move," but if so, no one mentioned it.  Fast forward to my recent 3-6 limit session at the Monte Carlo.  This lady in her 40's or 50's is obviously a regular in the room, based on how she was addressed by the staff.  Well, the Monte Carlo actually uses one and two-dollar chips in this game, the ones being white, and the twos being beige, or "off white."  She had been in the game for about half an hour when she tossed three beige chips into the pot, followed by the statement that she "didn't mean to raise."  She then proceeded to bet every street like someone who had pocket aces.  If you've ever played limit before, you know what I'm talking about.  She feared no card as she threw in her chips.  Unfortunately, everyone folded and she never showed.  I say unfortunately, because I would bet that she had A A, and I was being social with the guy I was sitting by.  I don't normally get too chatty in no-limit games, but I'm more relaxed in limit.  Also, I had flopped sets with 3 of 4 pocket pairs.  I was getting no cards, but when I did, I was flopping sets and winning pots.  I actually made quads and a $50.00 bonus on one hand.  This guy actually nicknamed me "The Viper" because of how "I'd wait..., I'd wait..., and then I'd STRIKE..."  Back to the alleged aces, if she would have indeed turned over that hand, I was going to pop off to my friend, "Do you remember how she 'raised by mistake' preflop?  That's the second time I've seen that angleshooting crap in two weeks with aces..."  Anyway, she never showed, but what a bunch of garbage.  I also heard the classic line in another limit game from a female player about a week back, "well, since no one else is betting..."  RUN, RUN DUMMY, RUN!!!  :)  I don't even remember which movie that's from at the moment...

Anyway, I hope that you're enjoying my poker exploits.  A long time ago, when my brother Pete brought me to the WPT's Five Diamond Classic to watch the pros at the Bellagio, and then to the Mirage to play 3-6 limit live (I remember asking what was better, a straight or a flush), I became HOOKED on this game.  I told my brother that I wanted to become really good, and asked what the secret was.  Pete said that I just had to see hands, meaning that I had to watch lots and lots of hands.  I'm happy to say that I'm on pace to pay all of my monthly bills with my poker winnings this month.  Hopefully this will continue, and I'll keep improving...  I'm getting to the point where I'm HATING to have a losing session for the day, and I think that will only benefit me.

That's all for now, but my poker-playing friend Katie will be in town this week, so I should have another guest star for next week's post.  I hope that you have a great week, and I'll see you soon!




      

      

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Doing The Right Thing Can Hurt

Good evening everyone.  I want to start off tonight by thanking all of you who have been following and supporting my poker exploits and also reading my blog(s).  I see that I receive a lot of visitors here from my friends via Facebook, and I'll rotate who I tag to posts.  I'm just letting you know that so you don't feel left out if you're not tagged to every single entry that I make here.  Between having friends who are poker players and/or those who simply want me to succeed as I continue to learn this game, y'all have generated quite a bit of traffic here, and I enjoy sharing my stories with you.  I still plan on writing about once a week (hopefully for each of my four blogs in the near future), and I'll continue to keep notifying everyone via my Facebook and Twitter ads.  These posts will almost always come on Monday or Tuesday.

We have a lot to cover tonight my friends.  My recent gameplan has been to play overnight on weekend nights when there are more games going in town.  I have done so for the past three evenings, but today I'm switching my sleep schedule back to normal because I have some errands that have to be done during the day tomorrow.  Anyway, that's why I'm writing on Sunday.  I took a nap, and I have to sleep tonight, so now I'm up.  Let me tell you the gut-wrenching story first, and then we'll discuss happy things...  I was playing 1/2 no limit, and I had pocket queens.  I honestly don't remember how much money went into the pot on this hand because I tend to play all of my big hands differently.  I imagine that I'm pretty difficult to read...  Long story short, the flop came King-Jack-Nine, with several players seeing the flop.  Not the best for queens, although some players would stay for the gutshot straight draw.  Hitting a queen would be pretty useless at this point, since any ten would make a straight.  Based on the post-flop action, I folded.  The turn brought another jack.  Now I'm losing to any king, any jack, and the evil hand (queen-ten), so I'm feeling pretty good about my fold.  There's more betting and calling after the turn.  Then (are you ready for it???) a QUEEN comes on the river...  I would have made queens full of jacks (whimper, whimper)...  Now let's see the action after the river.  The first player bets 60, and he gets called by two other players.  That's 180 in the pot, just on the river.  The bettor shows jack-nine, for a full house, and both callers show 10's, for straights...  I estimate that I would have profited somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 hundred dollars in that $400.00-ish pot had I seen the river.  I obviously made the right play after the flop, as jack-nine had two-pair, and after he filled up on the turn, I was drawing to just two queens.  STILL, I thought (stewed) about that hand for the next half-hour.  I made a good fold, but doing the right thing can hurt...

Ironically, since my Flamingo tourney cash about a month ago, I haven't play in a single tournament.  Ironcially times two, I have not lost on any day that I've played since that tourney.  Over the past three days playing, I made about $450.00.  Making $450.00 a week would be enough to pay my bills, so there's that.  I also have something in the works with a possible employer, so there's that also.  See, I told you that the news got happier.  Freaking 300 dollars...

Let's talk about specific friends of mine for a moment before we proceed with some of my bigger hands of the weekend.  I played the weekend at the Flamingo, the MGM, and at Excalibur.  As far as the MGM goes, I can't believe that my friend Rob has never mentioned how many pretty girls are there on the weekend.  As for the Excalibur, I have to thank my friend Pete P. Peters for turning me onto it.  There didn't seem to be a lot of World Series of Poker bracelet winners playing in their games.  My friend Nick will be arriving in town tonight to play some poker for a few days, and my friend Katie will be hitting town next week to do the same.  I've said it on several occasions, that if you live in Las Vegas, your friends WILL COME to visit you...  ;)  Again, if you're ever going to be in town and want to meet up, let me know.  If I've never met you before, let's make it a public place, like maybe a..., casino...  :)  The funny thing about Nick is that he's met my brother, but not me.  Speaking of meeting people, I played poker with a nice lady from Lake Jackson, Texas this weekend, and whenever I hear "Lake Jackson," I think of my friend Megan.  :)  Assuming that everyone knows everyone in LJ, I asked if Sandy knew Megan, but alas, the answer was no.  However, Sandy is also a big Astros fan (like Megan), and she said that Megan is cute, so there's that...  :D

Okay, poker hands from the weekend...  Two of my memorable hands from the weekend came in 2-4 limit poker.  I like to play limit on occasion for several reasons.  Limit games tend to have weaker players (though not always), my stack is protected against a misread or a bad beat, and I can sit at the table "brain dead" for hours if I'm accumulating time for a freeroll tournament.  In the first hand, I had pocket aces, and I was in early position.  Sometimes making players flat-call four will thin the field, so I raised.  If a player already has two chips in, they almost always call the raise.  Well, raising worked, as only SEVEN other players called me.  Goodness gracious...  So eight of us saw a low flop (nine-high), maybe five went to the turn, and the river pairing the board with a six made me feel better about getting whacked by a garbage two-pair.  The first player showed a nine, followed by a girl proudly showing her pocket queens, and then I showed the winning hand...  :D  Pocket aces held up in a eight-way pot.  WOO-HOO!!

Now let's move onto the second hand of note.  Playing about ten hours of limit poker, I had missed plenty of flops, and my stack was down to like 50 bucks.  Then I limped into a VERY multi-way pot with pocket 3's.  The flop came Queen-Ten-THREE with two diamonds.  There were a lot of straight and flush draws, along with queens and/or tens out there, because most everybody stuck around.  With my dwindling stack, I decided that I was going to make this pot as big as possible, or "go broke" (have to buy more chips).  Someone bet 2, so I raised to 4.  A player went all-in for 5, and after several calls, I got to raise again to 7.  This 2-4 pot must have had like 50 bucks in it when we saw a jack on the turn.  More bets and calls, and then another jack on the river.  Beautiful card for me, because any straights were now toast.  Needless to say, my 3's full of jacks won like an 80-ish dollar pot, in 2-4 limit...  :P  Just like my pocket aces hand, I seem to be involved in bigger pots than most people (in no limit also, because my stack gets in a lot if I'm around til the river).  Doyle Brunson once said, "No-limit hold 'em.  Hours of boredom followed by moments of sheer terror."  That explains my current playing-style PERFECTLY...

I think that it's time to hit the 'publish' button my friends.  Thanks again for your support, and have a great week!